The hottest target is the pain points and difficul

2022-10-02
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Aiming at the pain points and difficulties of high-quality development of manufacturing industry

in recent years, driven by the policy of "made in China 2025", the industrial transformation and upgrading in the form of machine replacement or automated production is being rapidly promoted by manufacturing enterprises, especially in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong, which is known as the world factory. Just as every technological progress in the history of industrial development will cause social discussion and concern, this wave of industrial transformation and upgrading has also aroused widespread concern and discussion from all walks of life, including workers' concern about technical unemployment

due to the current rapid development and application of artificial intelligence, this concern seems to be more real and urgent. So, how does the transformation and upgrading or machine replacement of manufacturing enterprises proceed? What is the state of workers at the automation upgrade site? Out of concern for these basic issues, my team members and I conducted a survey on the auto parts enterprises in the Pearl River Delta in June 2017, including questionnaires, interviews and discussions

gradual machine replacement

in addition to the national policy drive, the process of enterprise transformation and upgrading is deeply affected by the development of the industry. Compared with other manufacturing industries, the production technology of the automotive industry has always been at the forefront of science and technology, especially in foreign countries, such as Japan, where the degree of production automation is high. Because 1. Adjust the reciprocating stroke of the gripper according to the experimental needs, whether Chinese automobile manufacturing enterprises carry out transformation and upgrading or machine replacement is more a cost-benefit issue than a technical issue

after 2010, affected by the rising labor costs and the enhanced awareness of workers' rights, the surveyed enterprises began to gradually improve the automation level of production lines. For example, after 2010, the wages of workers in enterprise a maintained an annual growth rate of more than 10%. By 2017, the average comprehensive wages received by workers were more than 6500 yuan. Although the growth rate of workers' wages is still lower than that of enterprise revenue, for enterprises that rely on low labor costs to maintain product price advantages, the continuous increase of workers' wages undoubtedly increases the production costs of enterprises and weakens the market competitiveness of products

maintaining a low labor cost is the direct reason for the replacement of machines in the investigated enterprises. In contrast to the annual wage growth of workers, within the validity period, the longer the service life of the machine, the lower the cost. As a technical manager of an enterprise said, in terms of cost, the cost of machines is fixed, while the cost of people is constantly changing (rising). Our requirements for this area (cost control) are very clear, and we have been promoting automation

in addition, the realization of effective employee management is also the driving factor of the machine replacement of the surveyed enterprises. In the Pearl River Delta region, workers' work stoppage is not new. With the improvement of relevant legal systems and the intergenerational replacement of workers, it has gradually become one of the important characteristics of some new generation workers. The workers of auto parts enterprises in the Pearl River Delta who experienced the shutdown tide in the summer of 2010 not only have a strong sense of rights, but also have rich experience in action, and know how to play games with enterprises to strive for their legitimate rights and interests

in the face of increasingly disobedient workers, obedient machines have gradually become the preferred labor force in enterprises, because machines are always better managed than people. Stable production can not only increase the revenue of enterprises, but also win more product orders for enterprises

of course, labor shortage is also an important reason for many enterprises in the Pearl River Delta to adopt machine production, but for the auto parts enterprises surveyed, due to the relatively high level of wages and benefits, the standardized employment of enterprises, the better working environment, etc., enterprises are not worried about the lack of people. Now everyone (enterprise) doesn't recruit people, maybe two people, and 200 people came

from the heavy manual work of handling materials and products, to simple repetitive work, and then to the work with certain complexity such as product detection, workers are either completely replaced by machines, or work together with machines. The number of workers on the production line fell sharply. For example, in enterprise B, which produces automotive electronic systems, the most advanced production line only needs four workers, two at the front and two at the end of the production line, and the cost of production equipment can be recovered in less than two years, while the traditional production line needs about 40 people

another example is enterprise C, which produces window lifting system. By transforming the old production line, the number of operating workers is reduced from at least 10 to 3 or 4, and even some production lines only need 1 person, while the cost of transformation equipment invested in each production line can be recovered in up to 3 years. Such a large number of workers are replaced by machines, which will naturally cause workers to go Will workers lose their jobs? And so on

if it is said that whether an enterprise carries out machine replacement involves the consideration of cost-benefit, then how to carry out machine replacement involves the mediation and upgrading of household property with the economic tension of the people, such as aerospace, national defense, kerosene chemical industry, transportation, and the adjustment of industrial relations in the workshop, which will have an impact on workers' rights and interests, trade union work, skill level, salary system, personnel management system, etc. if it is not handled well, It may affect the normal production order and even evolve into a problem of social stability

step by step is the remarkable feature of the surveyed auto parts enterprises in promoting machine replacement. Workers are not unemployed because of the extensive use of machines. The natural loss of workers and the addition of new production lines are the two main ways to adjust the production structure of workers

for example, enterprise B had 2100 employees in 2014 and 2200 employees in July 2017. According to the plan, by 2020, the number of employees in the enterprise will not exceed 2000, and in recent years, the average number of workers who naturally leave the enterprise each year is about 100. At the same time, the establishment of the automatic production line and the automatic transformation of the old line of the enterprise are also constantly advancing. In other words, by reducing the scale of recruiting new workers and adjusting the workers replaced by machines to the new production line, enterprise B has realized the machine replacement without worker unemployment

behind the process of machine replacement in this near ideal state is a series of production system and mechanism guarantees. For example, the multi skilled worker system and the post rotation system make it possible for enterprises to deploy workers between different production lines in the whole plant by making a worker have multiple skills and knowledge to operate different processes at the same time through a learning mechanism similar to the apprenticeship system

Xiao Wang used to be an operator. After being recommended and examined by the team members, he became a substitute of the team. He should be familiar with the operation technology of the whole production line. The substitute, that is, the versatile worker. If someone in a class asks for leave, he will take the place of the worker. If the equipment is abnormal, he should also be responsible for handling it. Even if no one asks for leave and the machine is not abnormal, there are some daily tasks that need to be done by the substitute. As a process of machine replacement to adjust labor relations, it is not only the replacement of workers by machines (completely or partially), but also the reconstruction of workshop working methods, labor processes, labor systems, management systems and other aspects

workers in machine replacement

in the history of technological progress, there has been the famous Luddite movement of workers smashing machines, which has vividly displayed the hostile attitude of workers towards machines. In the later process of industrial revolution or production technology progress, through labor protection systems such as trade union organization and welfare system, the basic rights and interests of workers were protected to a certain extent, and workers no longer regard their relationship with machines simply as the relationship between ourselves and the enemy

at present, the idea that machine replacement or automatic production represents scientific and Technological Development and social progress has been widely accepted by workers. In our questionnaire survey, about 71.5% of front-line production workers believe that new machines or new technologies affect (or even threaten) their jobs reasonably. The reasons given are concentrated on the mechanization of enterprise production. Automation represents scientific and Technological Development and social progress, which cannot be stopped. Only 19.7% of the front-line production workers thought it unreasonable, but did not give a reason

when asked how to deal with possible unemployment or outdated skills, 74.8% of front-line production workers choose to learn new technologies and knowledge. Although the surveyed workers' attitude towards machine replacement is positive and optimistic, if you carefully analyze it, you will find that the process of machine replacement is gradual, but uneven, and the situation of workers has not changed substantially due to automated production

machine replacement has not been directly connected with the wage and reward issues that workers are most concerned about. According to the results of the questionnaire, 88.57% of the surveyed employees believed that their wages had not changed significantly after the adoption of mechanization or new technology, and even 5.71% believed that wages and benefits had been reduced. Moreover, the vast majority of technicians also believe that their wages and benefits have not changed significantly

this includes at least two important issues: first, workers obviously do not think that the wage increase brought about by collective negotiation is related to automated production, which shows that the issue of machine replacement has not yet entered the scope of collective bargaining and has not become an option for bargaining; Secondly, the skill upgrading required for the operation of new machines generated through training did not increase the wages of workers (91.2% of front-line production workers did not increase their wages after training), which shows that workers' skill upgrading is separated from their remuneration. This separation either stems from the low skill requirements or from the unreasonable skill wage system of enterprises

automated production has not changed the phenomenon of workers working overtime for a long time. In our survey, generally speaking, the average working hours of front-line production workers are about 9 hours from Monday to Friday, 6.8 hours on Saturday and 2.6 hours on Sunday, which is slightly longer than that of enterprise employees as a whole. However, not all enterprises rely on long-time overtime to ensure workers' wages. For example, in enterprise D, the average working time of employees from Monday to Friday is 8 hours, while the average working time on Saturday is 3 hours, and they rest on Sunday

skill improvement did not bring about an increase in the bargaining power of workers' workshops. It is generally believed that skilled workers or skilled workers have strong bargaining power in the workshop because they master the skills necessary for enterprise production and the high training cost of such skills. However, in our survey, we found that except for a few senior engineers who are engaged in programming, R & D and commissioning of machinery and equipment, other technicians or multi skilled workers who account for the majority of the enterprises do not have strong bargaining power. In the process of enterprise automation upgrading, despite the continuous improvement of workers' operating skills, the relatively simple machine operation and the substitutability of workers have greatly reduced or even eliminated the bargaining power that skills may give workers

with the development of science and technology and the general improvement of education level, some enterprise managers said that for ordinary production line workers, the higher the degree of automation, the simpler the operation is. For technical and knowledge ability, medium-level technicians (intermediate technicians) are enough. As long as they have sound limbs and mind, they can be competent. Therefore, when recruiting, enterprises often care more about the attitude and learning ability of candidates, Instead of demanding high skills or high education. For on-site employees, the company has no educational requirements. To put it bluntly, as long as you are human

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